The Electoral Count Act of 1887 needs to be updated and modernized, to avoid another January 6 situation.
Fortunately, a bipartisan group of Senators is at work on this project.
Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, with the backing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is leading a group of Senators, including Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chris Coons of Delaware to prevent a repeat of the nightmare created in 2021.
It would clarify the Vice President’s role so that there would never be doubt again about the counting of Electoral Votes.
The law of 1887 came ten years after the contested Presidential Election of 1876, where Republican Rutherford B. Hayes became President by a margin of one vote–185-184–over Democrat Samuel Tilden, who had won the popular vote by about 250,000!
One of the roles of the Vice President of the United States is to count and announce the Electoral College vote at the end of a Presidential term.
Every Vice President has done so, constitutionally, in modern times, even when the Vice President may have been the Presidential nominee for the next term in office.
So we have Richard Nixon in 1961, Hubert Humphrey in 1969, and Al Gore in 2001, who have played their proper role.
Also, Walter Mondale in 1981 and Dan Quayle in 1993 were on losing tickets as Vice Presidents, but played their proper role.
And Dick Cheney in 2009 and Joe Biden in 2017, both leaving office, did their duty!
Finally, after much hesitation and the intervention of Dan Quayle led Mike Pence in 2021 to do what he was required, constitutionally, to do in his role as Vice President!
Many groups and individuals, including those who are clearly conservative in nature, argue that the Electoral Count Act of 1887, enacted a decade after the disputed Presidential Election of 1876, and two close elections in 1880 and 1884, needs to be overhauled to prevent the crisis that occurred in 2021, only prevented by Mike Pence, at the last minute, following his duty, despite threats to hang him or murder him by mobs engaged in the US Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021!
This blogger and scholar is no fan of former Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence’s hardline right wing Christianity is distasteful to the extreme, and the thought that he, after being a total sycophant to Donald Trump, might become President, is a monstrous nightmare.
But on January 6, 2021, Pence did his duty to uphold the Electoral College vote that clearly demonstrated that Joe Biden had won the Presidential Election of 2020.
He did the same thing as Richard Nixon did in 1961; Hubert Humphrey did in 1969; and Al Gore did in 2001; and also what Nelson Rockefeller did in 1977, Walter Mondale did in 1981; Dan Quayle did in 1993; Dick Cheney did in 2009; and Joe Biden did in 2017.
Pence defended his role in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum last night, and he faced the threat of being lynched by the Capital Insurrectionists, with his own boss, Donald Trump, unwilling to intervene or care about the health and safety of his loyal lieutenant.
Donald Trump deserves life in prison for his treason and sedition, and lack of concern for human life on that day, and in many other cases over his destructive four years in the Oval Office.
So while not supportive of any future for Pence, he should be saluted for doing his constitutional duty, as other Vice Presidents have done throughout American history!